, or fitrah
is an Arabic word meaning ‘disposition’, ‘nature’, ‘constitution’, or ‘instinct’. In a mystical
Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, i.e. levels of being, beyond normal human perception, including experience and even communion with a supreme being.-Classical origins:...
context, it can connote intuition or insight. It is similar to the Calvinist term "Sensus Divinitatis".
According to Islamic theology, human beings are born with an innate inclination of tawhid
Tawhid is the concept of monotheism in Islam. It is the religion's most fundamental concept and holds God is one and unique ....
(Oneness), which is encapsulated in the fitra
along with compassion
Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood.There is an aspect of...
Intelligence has been defined in different ways, including the abilities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, planning, emotional intelligence and problem solving....
Ihsan , also spelled as Ehsan, is an Arabic term meaning "perfection" or "excellence . It is a matter of taking one's inner faith and showing it in both deed and action, a sense of social responsibility borne from religious convictions...
and all other attributes that embody what it is to be human. It is for this reason that some Muslims prefer to refer to those who embrace Islam as reverts rather than converts, as it is believed they are returning to a perceived pure state.
The perfect embodiment of fitra
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...
Allah's Apostle said, "No child is born except on the fitra and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian (Zoroastrian), as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?"
- Sahih al-Bukhari
Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...
, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 441
Root of word
- To split or cleave
- Implies opening up and coming out
- Verb means 'to bring forth', 'to originate', 'to knead and shape dough'.
Fitra has a physical component as well as a spiritual one. The fitra of the human body is its beauty and perfection as created by God. Although created perfectly by God, humans are permitted to enhance their appearance through means approved by God, such as clothes, bathing and perfumes. These are changes to surface appearance, but not to one's essential fitra.
However, radical changes to one's body to suit personal taste or social fashion are condemned as unlawful changes to fitra. Procedures to remove or hide deformities resulting from disease or injury are seen as restoring fitra, rather than changing it, and are therefore allowed.
The sunan al-fitra
(lit., "customs of nature") are a collection of hygienic or cosmetic practices enjoined by Muhammad as consistent with fitra:
'A'isha reported: Muhammad said: Ten are the acts according to fitra: clipping the mustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth-stick, snuffing water in the nose, cutting the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the hair under the armpits, shaving the pubic hair and cleaning one's private parts with water. The narrator said: I have forgotten the tenth, but it may have been rinsing the mouth.
(Sahih Muslim, II.502)